Boeing's vice-president of marketing Randy Tinseth has welcomed Airbus to the winglets club with a question. "Why has it taken so long?" he asks.

Airbus announced on Sunday at the show that it would offer winglets for its A320 family aircraft starting with an order from Air New Zealand in 2012 that would improve fuel burn by 3.5%.

Tinseth claimed that depending on the model, the 737 Next Generation aircraft has a 3-7% per seat fuel burn advantage over the A320 family aircraft and adds that Airbus is "trying to claw a little bit back with their new winglets".

Boeing first introduced winglets on its Boeing Business Jet in 1998 and commercially in 2001.

Airbus claims that its new "sharklet" A320 winglets will best Boeing's 737-800 in relative fuel burn by about 9%.

Source: Flight Daily News